Monday, April 11, 2011

Ladies be careful of fire.

Ever since I saw "Little Women" back when I was  4 or 5, the idea of a woman catching fire scared the heck out of me. Strange that the scene was June Allyson as Jo sitting too close to a fire place and smoldering. The scene was meant to be funny. My mom walked into a soldering torch that my father had braced on his knees. She only got a small hole in her 1960s full skirt. Hoop skirts catching fire in the 1860s was a real danger and like any real danger there were cartoons making light of the subject.

The lady in this print will only suffer the exposure of her legs...

The cartoon below show a lady with a combination firefighter and maid. Just in case.

Any lady reenactors out there, please be careful! Mary Boykin Chesnut, the diarist had a close call while viewing the bombardment of Fort Sumter......

"... Last night, or this morning truly, up on the housetop I was so weak and weary I sat down on something that looked like a black stool. "Get up, you foolish woman. Your dress is on fire," cried a man. And he put me out. I was on a chimney and the sparks had caught my clothes. Susan Preston and Mr. Venable then came up. But my fire had been extinguished before it burst out into a regular blaze."

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